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Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights

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Overview

Are human rights universal or the product of specific cultures? Is democracy a necessary condition for the achievement of human rights in practice? And when, if ever, is it legitimate for external actors to impose their understandings of human rights upon particular countries? In the contemporary context of globalization, these questions have a salient religious dimension. Religion intersects with global human rights agendas in multiple ways, including: whether ''universal'' human rights are in fact an imposition of Christian understandings; whether democracy, the ''rule of the people,'' is compatible with God's law; and whether international efforts to enforce human rights including religious freedom amount to an illicit imperialism. This book brings together leading specialists across disciplines for the first major survey of the religious politics of human rights across the world's major regions, political systems, and faith traditions. The authors take a bottom-up approach and focus particularly on hot-button issues like human rights in Islam, Falun Gong in China, and religion in the former Soviet Union. Each essay examines the interaction of human rights and religion in practice and the challenges they pose for national and international policymakers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For three decades, scholars have shown that religion and human rights need each other. The volume opens an important new chapter of scholarship by illustrating precisely how religion and human rights interact today. Judiciously edited and strikingly original, the volume combines case studies of local communities with broad surveys of major religions and regions of the world that illustrate the complex and diverse controversies that remain, especially over women's rights, religious freedom, and the rights to life and bodily integrity."
— John Witte, Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Emory University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195343397
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

TB: Director, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University RW: Andlinger Professor of Sociology and Director, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Thomas Banchoff and Robert Wuthnow

2. The International Human Rights Regime
Thomas Banchoff

PART I : ISLAM AND THE GLOBAL POLITICS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
3. Human Rights and Democracy in Islam: The Indonesian Case in Global Perspective
Robert W. Hefner

4. Muslims, Human Rights, and Women's Rights
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

PART II : THREE REGIONS: LATIN AMERICA, SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
5. Religious Pluralism, Democracy, and Human Rights in
Latin America
Paul Freston

6. Gender Justice and Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa
Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf

7. Buddhism, Human Rights, and Non-Buddhist Minorities
Charles Keyes

PART III : FOUR KEY COUNTRIES: INDIA, CHINA, RUSSIA, AND THE UNITED STATES
8. Hinduism and the Politics of Rights in India
Pratap Bhanu Mehta

9. Religion, State Power, and Human Rights in China
David Ownby

10. Religious Communities and Rights in the Russian Federation
Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer

11. Human Rights, the Catholic Church, and the Death Penalty in the United States
Thomas Banchoff

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